We must all fight antisemitism to its fullest extent. Now!

What Others Are Saying

Enough alreadyOn September 3, 2018, Stephen Harper the former Prime Minister of Canada and Nobel Laureate Lord Trimble jointly published in Britain’s The Telegraph a blistering attack on the rise of antisemitism across Europe and with particular reference to Jeremy Corbyn the British politician who is the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition since 2015. Their article, “Corbyn’s Anti-semitism is a threat to all of us,” is reproduced in full below. No copyright infringement is intended.

Here is what they said:

The rise in anti-Semitism across Europe should be alarming to all of us, and not just for moral reasons. History shows that the mindset which embraces anti-Semitism rarely restricts its hatred to the Jewish minority.

Today’s threats against Europe’s Jewish populations are both different and more diverse than those in the past. Far-right extremism is still with us, but now represents only one slice of the problem. Radical, jihadist Islam is now the much larger threat. However, the far-left has also become a substantial source of anti-Semitism.

Today’s hard-left exhibits a particularly pernicious form of anti-Semitism– one couched in anti-racism rhetoric to make it socially acceptable in polite company. It is not the Jews, they claim, who are uniquely evil among the nations. It just happens to be Israel, the Jewish state, that is the source of such malevolence.

And so we arrive at the sorry phenomenon that is Jeremy Corbyn – a man who lays wreaths at the graves of anti-Semitic terrorists, and then thinly papers over his actions with nonsensical hair-splitting. Mr Corbyn’s comfort in the company of anti-Semites and other extremists whom he calls “friends” speaks for itself. While he claims to embrace such individuals in the name of “peace,” it is a peace that only ever involves the enemies of the West generally and of the Jewish people specifically.

From the highest levels to the foot soldiers of Corbyn’s Momentum, not a day goes by without another vile display of anti-Semitism, darkly hinting about an omnipresent Jewish cabal, controlling the media and conspiring for their comrade-leader’s downfall. In the meantime, Mr Corbyn cannot even pretend to take the issue of anti-Semitism seriously, all the while claiming to be “a life-long anti-racist.”

The naked reality underlying Labour’s refusal to accept the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism is that Mr Corbyn and his allies have no intention of stopping their overt attacks on the Jewish state. Perhaps the growing political pressure will force them to do so, but either way their views are now plainly evident.

His ‘peace’ only ever involves the enemies of the West generally and of the Jewish people specifically.

It is the far-left’s obsession with Israel that concerns us most specifically. Our organization is premised on a simple demand: a fair debate about that country, on the same terms which we extend to debates on all other countries. Today’s anti-Semitism all too often manifests itself in the singling out of Israel, depicted as a uniquely horrific place, responsible for all the ills of the Middle East, if not the world.

A fair examination would show that nothing could be further from the truth. Israel grapples with some of the most acute challenges the West faces in defending ourselves against jihadist aggression while maintaining modern, open societies. Israel carries this burden admirably, sustained by a democratic polity and a civil judiciary that, in some instances, surpass our own practices. It does this despite having been repeatedly tested under fire in ways our own citizens would simply not tolerate.

It is time to strip away all the rhetoric and rationalizations. Mr Corbyn and his allies hate Israel uniquely and obsessively. Under his leadership, Israel – and thus any Jew daring to identify with it – will face relentless slander. He, and those who share such malignant views, must be exposed and opposed at every opportunity.

Advertisements

Labeling journalists “the enemy of the people.” Oh, America! Where are you heading?

“The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!   1:48 PM – 17 Feb 2017”

-President Trump

 “When American leaders stand up for a free press, they embolden courageous journalists who put their lives and liberty on the line to report the news. And when American leaders fall short, they embolden the autocrats who seek to repress those journalists.”

– The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

     by Alan Simons

Last month, A.G. Sulzberger, Publisher of The New York Times, received a request from the White House to meet with President Trump. According to the Publisher “This was not unusual; there has been a long tradition of New York Times publishers holding such meetings with presidents and other public figures who have concerns about coverage.”

Not long after his meeting with the president, A.G. Sulzberger felt obliged to issue a statement. He said:

“My main purpose for accepting the meeting was to raise concerns about the president’s deeply troubling anti-press rhetoric.

I told the president directly that I thought that his language was not just divisive but increasingly dangerous.

I told him that although the phrase “fake news” is untrue and harmful, I am far more concerned about his labeling journalists “the enemy of the people.” I warned that this inflammatory language is contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence.

I repeatedly stressed that this is particularly true abroad, where the president’s rhetoric is being used by some regimes to justify sweeping crackdowns on journalists. I warned that it was putting lives at risk, that it was undermining the democratic ideals of our nation, and that it was eroding one of our country’s greatest exports: a commitment to free speech and a free press.

Throughout the conversation I emphasized that if President Trump, like previous presidents, was upset with coverage of his administration he was of course free to tell the world. I made clear repeatedly that I was not asking for him to soften his attacks on The Times if he felt our coverage was unfair. Instead, I implored him to reconsider his broader attacks on journalism, which I believe are dangerous and harmful to our country.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide. On August 15, 2018, CPJ issued the following statement on US press freedom:

In recent weeks CPJ has noticed an uptick in interest from editorial boards of U.S. publications on issues related to press freedom in the United States. In light of this, the following data and reporting may be helpful.

CPJ systematically tracks the killing and imprisonment of journalists around the world, and reports on threats and attacks against them. We are also one of the managing partners of the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, a joint initiative of 30 organizations dedicated to defending press freedom.

According to CPJ research, in 2018:

Four journalists and one media worker have been murdered (at the Capital Gazette)

Another journalist, Zack Stoner, was killed in Chicago, but CPJ is still investigating whether the motive is related to his journalism.

This is the deadliest year for journalists in the United States since CPJ began keeping records in 1992. At this point in 2018, the United States is the third deadliest country globally after Afghanistan and Syria.

According to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker:

In 2018, at least 24 journalists were physically attacked (ranging from being shoved or having equipment damaged, to more serious physical assaults). In 2017, at least 45 journalists were physically attacked.

In 2018, at least three journalists have been arrested in the U.S. in the course of their work. In 2017, at least 34 journalists were arrested.

Since the beginning of 2017, the Department of Justice has issued indictments in at least four leak prosecutions. In at least one case, a journalist’s records were subpoenaed.

An international delegation of global press freedom groups led by CPJ in January found that journalists face a range of threats including physical and verbal harassment, and that press freedom in Missouri and surrounding states has worsened in recent years.

Covering white nationalism and the far right is a dangerous beat in the United States. CPJ has documented threats, both online and off, to reporters who cover these movements.

Protests are among the most dangerous assignments for journalists:

CPJ research shows that journalists of colour face a unique set of threats when covering protests.

Since the beginning of 2017, the S. Press Freedom Tracker has documented at least 31 journalists arrested at protests, while 36 have faced some form of physical attack or interference at protests.

CPJ has also documented how the police crowd-control tactic known askettlingcan sweep up journalists and result in their arrest.

The White House’s charged rhetoric on “fake news” not only undermines the work of the media in the U.S., it emboldens autocratic leaders around the world. Authorities in countries including China, Cambodia, Egypt, Philippines, Syria, and Poland have adopted President Trump’sfake news” epithet to justify censorship.

In the past year, Canada has also seen an increase of attacks against its journalists. On August 24, 2017, Global News reported,Black Bloc warning urges more violence against Canadian journalists. An anti-fascist group whose members assaulted two Global News journalists at a demonstration in Quebec last weekend defended their actions Thursday and threatened more violence against journalists covering future protests in order to, according to the post, “make demonstrations safer” for the group. In an anonymous statement posted online titled “No face, no case: in defence of smashing corporate media cameras” the group said it wanted to “offer an explanation” for why a Global News camera was smashed and reporter Mike Armstrong was assaulted and pushed down a staircase.” And this past week, A Canadian journalist was physically attacked at an anti-hate rally in Toronto.

To quote the American author, Naomi Wolf: “Italy in the 1920s, Germany in the ’30s, East Germany in the ’50s, Czechoslovakia in the ’60s, the Latin American dictatorships in the ’70s, China in the ’80s and ’90s – all dictatorships and would-be dictators target newspapers and journalists.” 

Today, the Editorial Board of The Boston Globe said this about Trump: “A central pillar of President Trump’s politics is a sustained assault on the free press. Journalists are not classified as fellow Americans, but rather “The enemy of the people.” This relentless assault on the free press has dangerous consequences.

They added:

“Replacing a free media with a state-run media has always been a first order of business for any corrupt regime taking over a country. Today in the United States we have a president who has created a mantra that members of the media who do not blatantly support the policies of the current U.S. administration are the “enemy of the people.” This is one of the many lies that have been thrown out by this president much like an old-time charlatan threw out “magic” dust or water on a hopeful crowd.

“The liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom,” wrote John Adams.

For more than two centuries, this foundational American principle has protected journalists at home and served as a model for free nations abroad. Today it is under serious threat. And it sends an alarming signal to despots, from Ankara to Moscow, Beijing to Baghdad, that journalists can be treated as a domestic enemy.”

Which brings me to President Trump, with his pernicious thirst for personally mocking journalists and the media they work for. How much have his hate-mongering words been instrumental in giving the public approval to abuse journalists?

Oh, America! Where are you heading?

The intense abomination of Jews continues to develop speed.

Sunday chitchat

“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. | The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

      by Alan Simons

In a remarkable email sent today to his subscribers, David Harris, Executive Officer of American Jewish Committee (AJC) a Jewish advocacy group established on November 11, 1906, and one of the oldest Jewish advocacy organizations, made an extraordinary claim. “The world’s oldest hatred is back with a vengeance.” He is, of course, referring to antisemitism. To refer to the fact that it is back means that it went away for a while and has now returned, a suggestion I highly dispute.

I’m sure the respected Dutch group CASW (Combat Anti Semitism Worldwide) would share my opinion. CASW started in 2002 as a mailing list administrated by Magenta Foundation, with a purpose to monitor antisemitism and its effects globally and generically by sharing news and information, to share info on the effects of antisemitism in our communities and countries around the world. Since its inception, the list generated some 7000 postings and has now migrated to Facebook as a group. I recommend you give some consideration to joining this group.

Magenta is an independent organization that operates from Amsterdam and works towards an inclusive society in the Netherlands, Europe and globally. Shortly after being established, Magenta was the first organization in the world that dedicated itself to combat discrimination on the Internet. Magenta also hosts the secretariat of the International Network Against Cyber ​​Hate (INACH). By now, organizations in 20 countries participate in this network, each in their own way denouncing cyber hate, protecting the rights of all Internet users and promoting respect between people.

Antisemitism, let’s be more direct and refer to the term as the intense abomination of Jews, has through the Internet, given the Jew-haters among us ample opportunity to show their true feelings. Egged on in recent years by the Trumptwits, the Gallowayites and the Corbynites, to name a few, there is much to be concerned about. We only have to look at what CASW has recently uncovered:

In the USA, Washington DC: “Officials are considering providing separate trains for white nationalists attending the Unite The Right rally in Washington D.C. on August 12 to avoid conflict with counter-protesters, according to reports. Metro’s largest union, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, said at least three private trains are to be organized for a hate group affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan to Foggy Bottom Metro Station before they are escorted by police to Lafayette Park for the rally.”

In the USA:  In an article by Hannah Rosenthal, “As a former Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism (SEAS) for the State Department, I remain concerned that for the past 18 months, this post has been vacant. The absence of a Special Envoy makes the media’s role in spotlighting outbreaks of hatred and antisemitism even more vital. This is why I was deeply alarmed to see the New York Times downplay and whitewash a neo-Nazi gang in a recent article about Ukraine.”

In Austria: “A group of Austrian middle-school students are under investigation for play-acting as Nazi SS members and Jews after watching a film in which an anti-fascist social experiment gets out of hand, a prosecution spokesman confirmed Thursday. The incidents occurred as the 13- and 14-year-olds were learning about World War II and National Socialism at their school in Zurndorf in eastern Austria, the children’s lawyer Andreas Schweitzer told dpa.”

In Germany: “A strange cult called the Reichsbürger, or ‘citizens of the Reich,’ is emerging in Germany, and it’s raising alarm bells with its far-right views and love of guns. Reports out of Germany suggest that the group has between 15,000 and 18,000 members, around 1,200 of whom are believed to have obtained firearms legally. German media reported that the group’s membership grew by around 56 per cent last year and that the organization is attempting to form an army.”

In the UK: “The Labour Party has been accused of ‘undermining’ the fight against antisemitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, who criticised Labour’s decision to amend their official definitions and examples of antisemitism.”

In Romania: “Antisemitic Graffiti Causes Little Outrage in Romania. Antisemitic graffiti sprayed on Auschwitz survivor and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel’s memorial house in northern Romania sparked international outrage, but caused little reaction from Romanian politicians.”

In France: “They Spit When I Walked in the Street: The ‘New Antisemitism’ in France.”

In Greece, referring to the recent fires caused by the high temperatures: “The Rothschilds burnt us with laser rays’ (blaming the Rothschilds for the recent fires).”

In Denmark: “Danish prosecutors charged an imam with calling for the killing of Jews in the first case of its kind in the Nordic nation.

In conclusion, perhaps the following quotation attributed to Louis Farrakhan, a man deemed antisemitic by the Anti-Defamation League says it all: “The Jews don’t like Farrakhan, so they call me Hitler. Well, that’s a good name. Hitler was a very great man.”